Mock trial is a hands on simulation of the American judicial system. The goal is to help participants acquire a working knowledge of our judicial system, develop analytical abilities and communication skills, display leadership in a court of law, and gain an understanding of their obligations and responsibilities as participating members of our society.  Materials for this course are provided by The American Bar Association.

This course includes:

Exploration and explanation of basic legal concepts, court etiquette and vocabulary

-Criminal vs. civil trial 

-Bench vs jury trial, prosecution vs defense, lay witness vs expert witness and direct vs circumstantial evidence 

-Presumption of innocence, burden of proof and reasonable doubt 

-Rules of evidence, use of exhibits, objections and objectionable material

Case Analysis

-Analysis of statement of charges and a breakdown of the elements of each charge

-Analysis of jury instructions and the burden of proof

-Outlining the evidence for and against each charge, including: Forensic evidence, eyewitness testimony and statements

-Determining motive or lack of motive and determining the opportunity or lack of opportunity to commit the crime

-Analysis of corroboration and/or inconsistencies between witnesses

-Analysis of all exhibits

Writing and practicing Direct examinations

-Purpose, scope and expectations for each role

-Analysis of proper examination and further analysis of witness statements

-Outline of direct examination

-Draft of direct examination

-Analysis and removal of objectionable or extraneous material

-Witness preparation and adjustments based on witness preparation

-Responding to objections

Writing and practicing cross examinations

-Purpose, scope and expectation for each role

-Analysis of proper cross examination and analysis of anticipated direct examination

-Outline of cross examination

-Draft of cross examination

-Analysis and removal of objectionable, leading or extraneous material

-Witness preparation and adjustments based on witness preparation

-Responding to objections

Writing and practicing openings

-Purpose, scope, structure and expectations for openings

-Persuasive rhetoric and opening arguments

-Analysis of jury instructions and jury

-Developing and delivering the 'theme' of a case

-Analysis of extraneous or unhelpful information

-Further contemplation of burden of proof and how it pertains to the openings

-Contrasting analysis of defense's opening to the prosecution's opening

Writing and practicing closings

-Purpose, scope, structure and expectations for closings

-Analysis of the charges, evidence, testimony and adjustments that the case may have brought

-Analysis of reasonable doubt

-Analysis of what may and may not be referenced in the closing

-Discussion of adaptability and last moment adjustments

-Outline of closings

-Draft of closings

Mock trial performance